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EN GL A N D,
THE EARLIEST PERIOD
FROM WHICH LAST-MENTIONED EPOCH IT IS CONTINUED)
DOWNWARDS IN THE WORK ENTITLED,
COMPRISING THE PERIOD
FROM THE THIRD DAY OF DECEMBER
PRINTED BY T. C. HANSARD, PETERBOROUGH-COURT, FLEET-STREET:
BLACK, KINGSBURY, PARBURY, & ALLEN; J. HATCHARD; J. RIDGWAY
A FEW days previous to the death of the late Sir Philip Francis, he sent for the Editor of The Parliamentary History, and obtained from him a promise, that the following Letter, with the short Notice thereto prefixed, should have a place in the present Volume. It related, he said, to a subject, upon which he was most anxious that his public character should hereafter stand on the right ground. The request was urged with much earnestness; and, in complying with it, the Editor feels that he is only doing justice to the memory of one, from whom, during the progress of his undertaking, he has been in the habit of receiving the most valuable assistance. *
J. WRIGHT. Panton Square, January 1, 1819.
Sir Philip Francis's constitutional principles and uniform conduct in Parliament
are sufficiently known in the present times. The Parliamentary History contains ample evidence of both. On a particular subject, he has been misrepresented by a person, whose authority is likely to have weight with many, and whose writings will certainly be preserved in libraries. A fugitive answer in a newspaper, to a charge so authorized, and so prepared for preservation, though sufficient at the moment, would leave Sir Philip's reputation unprotected
hereafter. The Editor therefore thinks that he contributes to the administration of moral
justice among men, by recording the following paper ; with no observation, but that it was published several months before Mr. Burke's death.
For the MORNING CHRONICLE.
St. James's-square, Feb. 20, 1797. In the 71st page of a printed Letter from Mr. Burke to the Duke of Portland, without a date, I find the following assertions :
“ Some of these gentlemen who have attacked the House of Commons, lean to a “ Representation of the People by the head ; that is, to individual Representation. “ None of them, that I recollect, except Mr. Fox, directly rejected it. It is remark. “able, however, that he only rejected it by simply declaring an opinion : he let all “ the argument go against his opinion. All the proceedings and arguments of his
* To Sir Philip Francis the public are indebted for the reports of the Earl of Chatham's Speeches in the year 1770, which will be found in Vol. xvi, pp. 647,741, and 1071. Sir Philip came into parliament in May 1784, and continued a member of the House of Commons until the dissolution in May 1796. All the principal Speeches which appear in this Work under his name, were carefully corrected by himself
. His Speeches, from his return to parliament in 1802 to his final retirement in 1807, will be found recorded, under the same auspices, in The PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES, which form the Continuation of this work.